The 350 Z is one vehicle whose design clearly states its purpose as the massive front end treatment, large wheel openings and bulging fenders indicate. Opt for the Grand Touring Package, like our test car and the design is further augmented by 18-inch front and 19-inch rear, forged-alloy wheels with ultra low-profile high performance tires and a rear deck spoiler.
The power soft top takes only 20 seconds to stow neatly beneath a solid rear deck lid.
The Z features a 3.5 Liter DOHC V6 engine that produces 306 horse power and 268 pound feet of torque. The rear wheels are driven by either a 6-speed, close ratio manual or 5-speed sequential automatic via a unique carbon-fiber composite driveshaft to the limited slip differential. Vehicle Dynamic and Traction Control technologies are also employed.
Four-wheel ABS brakes feature 12.8-inch 4-piston Brembo ventilated discs up front and 2-piston, 12.7 inch discs in the rear and the system is further augmented by brake assist and electronic brake force distribution.
Given the power and performance inclinations of the Z, EPA #'s of 20 City/27Highway for the manual and only 1 MPG less for the automatic seem not that bad.
Driver and passenger-shaped-power bucket seats are heated and appointed in leather as is the adjustable steering wheel and shift lever. Optional seat-mounted side impact airbags and roof mounted, side curtain airbags compliment the standard front airbags.
Our test Z was equipped with the up-rated digital Bose audio system that includes 6-disc in-dash CD changer, Satellite Radio and MP3 player as well as 7-speakers including a 10-inch sub-woofer. The GPS Navigation system features DVD atlas and 7-inch LCD.
The 350 Z has a warranty of 3 years/36,000 miles and the MSRP for the "Enthusiast" trim level roadster is $35,550. MSRP for the Grand Touring model is $40,250.
If you're considering a performance car of the top down persuasion, you may just want to give the Nissan 350 Z a closer look.